The benefit of doing a cooking show is the cast and crew gets to sample the gourmet grub once we wrap. After completing three consecutive dishes with chef Rosanne Di Michele we had enough of the finest Italian fare for everyone. I was fascinated that in addition to of all that, they felt it necessary to bring a store bought Panettone cake in a box.
For nearly fifty years I made up my mind that this cake, boxed at a factory and shipped from a warehouse only during the holidays, must be the Italian version of the notorious American fruitcake. The American fruitcake: I never saw kids eat it or adults enthusiastic about it, so I assumed that it must be bad. Since I only ever heard it being referred to as a joke, I figured the only reason it was still around was that it has become a habitual tradition of the holidays that some can’t break.
We gobbled up chef Rosanna’s dishes to the sounds of “mmm mmm” and compliments from all. What could be better than this?, I thought as we all finished. That’s when the Panettone cake was placed on the table in its commercial box. You got to be kidding me? Really? This is how you top off a gourmet Italian meal prepared by a celebrity chef?
I was amazed at how enthusiastically chef Rosanna and the crew were responding to this cake. It was astonishing to me, I can best describe their excitement as that of elementary school kids hearing the sound of the ice cream truck coming down the street. Our empty plates and utensils were quickly taken away by one crewmember as another removed the Panettone cake from its box and cellophane wrapping. A third crewmember pulled a gallon of whole milk from one of the production cases and a forth began setting large sixteen once glasses on the table, one for everyone of us and each with a spoon.
I watched as the cake was torn, not cut, and one by one each piece stuffed into a glass. Then whole milk was poured into the glass covering the cake before handing it off like a present to each person in line. Really? This is how you eat it? As soon as I had that thought the crewmember beside me said, “This is why I can’t have these I home; I actually at a whole one by myself this way.”
When I finally tasted a spoonful for myself: OMG! My conversion experience was instantaneous, like that of Paul's on the road to Damascus. No longer a denouncer, I became this treat’s champion. As I continued to eat I couldn’t stop raving about how incredible it was. I even confessed that up until this moment I shied away from this cake because I assumed it wouldn't be any good. They all laughed.
It's amazing how what we think we know can limit the size of our life. From that moment on I’ve felt compelled to share this Panettone treat whenever the opportunity arises. Although some of my friends were skeptical before giving it a try, no one so far has been disappointed and they all go on to rave about it.
After getting my good friend Edward Biagiotti hooked we decided to share this wonderful way of enjoying Panettone with our audience. We co-host the weekly podcast Funniest Thing! with Darrell and Ed broadcasting live in 170 countries with 157,000 downloads. Since we share stories about how stepping out boldly always leads to better than expected outcomes this experience was the perfect fit. Click here to watch the special YouTube episode we dedicated to the Panettone cake.
1 Panettone traditional Italian cake
1 16oz glass
Recipe for success:
Tear a piece of Panettone off the cake
Stuff it into 16oz glass
Pour whole milk into glass
Eat with spoon.
If you have a favorite way that you really enjoy eating Panettone please share it with us in the comment space below.
Cartoonist Darrell Fusaro is the co-host of the Funniest Thing! with Darrell and Ed podcast and author of What If Godzilla Just Wanted a Hug?